Trials reveal the definitive grass seed blend for golf courses, says Barenbrug

Results of a six-year independent study to find the best blend of grass seed for golf courses have been published.

The preferred grass composition for golf greens under year-round play in the UK and Ireland is a combination of high-quality red fescue (slender creeping and Chewings) and browntop bent cultivars, findings revealed.

"Specifically a 80:20 red fescue-browntop bent blend was the top-performing treatment in the Bingley trial," said a spokeswoman for the trials that took place at the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) in Bingley and in Ireland.

Barenbrug, which commissioned the study, has published the findings of the two trials in a 24-page booklet. It concludes that a red fescue-browntop bent blend is the best option for UK and Ireland courses.

"The findings are the fruition of a six-year independent trial at STRI in Bingley, together with Barenbrug’s own sister trial at Druids Glen Golf Club in County Wicklow – the first trial of its kind in Ireland," said Barenbrug.

"The trials also give an insight into how seed selection and standard- versus low-input maintenance regimes influence the long-term performance of a newly-constructed golf green.

"Both trials saw a broad range of golf-green mixtures and monocultures sown on a sand-dominant rootzone, with performance assessed after an establishment period to provide a thorough insight into their sustainability."

Barenbrug research and development manager Dr David Greenshields said: "Until now there have been many preconceptions, and misconceptions, about which grasses should dominate our greens here in the UK and Ireland.

"But there have been few hard facts. Now we can say with more certainty that a red fescue-browntop bent blend is, for most golf clubs, the best bet for quality golf greens. Of course, not every golf course is the same.

"But, for those looking to sow out new greens, this is likely to be a recipe for success. The trials have also yielded further valuable data, such as the negative aspects of other grass species."

To receive a copy call 01359 272000, email or download a pdf at

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